keep one's distance


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.

keep (one's) distance

To limit engagement or association (or the appearance thereof) between oneself and someone or something. Politicians have been quick to keep their distance from the senator ever since news of her drug scandal broke. That kid needs to keep his distance—I'll call the police if I catch anyone trespassing on my property.
See also: distance, keep

keep one's distance

Stay away; also, remain emotionally remote. For example, It's wise to keep one's distance from any wild animal, or Since the family argued with him, Harry's been keeping his distance. [Late 1500s]
See also: distance, keep